Would I buy this?, the acid test

My philosophy of make, reuse and re-imagine is a constant theme in my blog. It’s a thing that gives me a lot of joy; creativity is fundamental to me. When I’ve finished something I usually look at it critically and think, ‘would I want to buy this’. It’s my acid test of whether it’s just functionally good enough, or if it’s something I love.

To borrow the words of William Morris, I subscribe to the theory that you should:  “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” My ideas of beauty are very much in line with my own tastes, and everyone’s taste is different but I can often see beauty in tastes that are far from my own when they are authentic.

Anyway, to cut the preamble, I’ve been doing a lot of making, remaking and upcycling lately, so I’m going to share a few of my latest. I looked at them critically, road tested them and I would buy all three, so here they are for you to see.

The skirt was an ebay buy, it’s a 1980’s Monsoon skirt, with a small size label but it was huge. It had a drawstring waist but it was very bulky, it was also too short. I was disappointed but loved the light cotton material and pattern so much that I thought it was worth a re think.

This is how it looked before any alterations

First I removed the waistband

Then I simply added a very heavy cotton jersey waisband, a good youtube video of how to do this is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BXxuYD85iI.

It fits perfectly, it’s just the right length and I love it.

Next mini project was an old bag. It’s made from hemp, perfect for travelling and I’ve had it for years. It’s been so well used that it had worn into holes at the top. I really didn’t want to part with it though, so I decided to make a feature of the flaws.

I got out my cotton embroidery threads and started to sew as brightly as I could, just to see where it would take me…

I’m genuinely delighted with this. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea but it’s definitely mine. I love the fact that it’s individual and one of a kind.

My final share is cosmetic. I’ve been making lots of my own recently and I’ve talked about it before. I make lip balm and deodorant and I keep it as natural as possible. Many preservatives in commercial products may be safe to use individually on the skin but they accumulate in marine mammals and occur in drinking water. They also tend to come packaged in plastic bottles, which I’m trying to avoid. I could write an entire piece on this but as it’s about what I’ve made, I’ll leave it here!

I made this eye cream using a plant derived natural preservative. I used carrot seed oil, which is great for anti ageing, also vitamin E, lavender essential oil, sweet almond and rose-hip oil and chamomile tea. I used emulsifying oil to set it.

I poured it into dark glass bottles, which I will be able to re use.

It feels lovely on my skin, honestly I’ve never tried better.

I’m starting to add to my essential oil collection and I read the book shown below for ideas.

I put the recipe I used together from several I read in different places. There are so many books on making your own cosmetics and lots of information on the internet. It’s fairly easy and you really don’t need lots of specialised equipment. I use things already in my kitchen.

I did buy dark glass bottles, both for creams and sprays for deodorant (just seen to the right in the photo of my eye cream).

I also bought the ingredients but I’m going to make some from herbs used in my garden too.

Right time to get back to work on my jewellery, the she shed awaits!

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Ann says:

    What a brilliant way of altering that skirt, Sally! It’s such a gorgeous print, so it would have been a pity to let it go to waste, especially as it looks lovely on you! I love the way you made a feature of the flaws of that much-loved bag, prolonging its life, and making it even lovelier in the process. And aren’t you clever making your own eye cream and deodorant? I’m sure it smells and feels so much better than what’s in the shops! xxx


    1. I actually like the bag better now that before, I love the colour. The material of the skirt really is vibrant, I didn’t want to let it go!
      Have a good Weekend Ann xxx


  2. Vix says:

    I love what you’ve done to that skirt, Sally! That Monsoon skirt makeover is wonderful and looks fantastic on. I was eyeing up a similar style skirt on eBay but was put off because of the drawstring waist. I can buy with confidence now. You’ve inspired me!
    The embroidered rucksack is gorgeous and I love the look of your eye cream.


  3. Sally, I love your posts. They remind me that I am a frustrated crafter. I love to make things, repair and restore so I find it inspiring to read what you are up to. When I worked and before I was a carer I was often doing different craft courses mosaics, making silver jewellery, or stained glass windows. I look forward to doing more of that… I also love the change to your site… Nice colours all beautifully presented. Sending love xx


    1. Thank you for your lovely comment Julia. To be honest doing lots of crafting keeps me sane sometimes! It’s very therapeutic and I hope you manage to get back to it soon. xxx


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